A Brief Reflection on 2014

I still love fireworks. Watching the International Fireworks Festival in Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 2014.

I still love fireworks. Watching the International Fireworks Festival in Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 2014.

I’m so glad this year is over.

No matter how lovely it has been to spend the last six weeks of it traveling.

My year can be described, in one word, as heartbreaking. I lost people important to me. My former company suffered a setback, and I lost the pull that drew me to South Korea, lost the opportunity to do something groundbreaking with extraordinary people. I worked myself to the point of such illness that I had to be hospitalized—twice.

That being said, 2014 was not a total write-off. I can speak of places I’ve been; beautiful-souled people who have changed me for the better; a reintroduction to the eternal value of “choosing kind” (to borrow R. J. Palacio’s words).

But the most important thing I’ve learned that it is never out of my control to change my circumstances when they are draining me body and soul. I’ve decided that despite all signs that point to a multitude of things trapping me—trapping everyone in society—to a certain way of life, to certain attitudes, it is I who will choose who or what gets to entrap me.

It is funny when you realize how few of the limitations in your life are actually insurmountable. How funny to understand that my cynicism and romanticism can coexist, for the better.

Yes, surprisingly, 2014 has given me a sense of optimism and goodwill that I haven’t felt since I was 16 and shouted from a mountaintop in Nova Scotia to clouds so close they gave me wings.

Now bring it on, 2015. I’ll show you what I have to offer.

Swinging from a vine in a cave in Kampot, Cambodia!

Swinging from a vine in a cave in Kampot, Cambodia!

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